Updates on Google’s November 2021 Core Algorithm Update


Wayne Atkinson, Ontario SEO
Wayne Atkinson
December 10, 2021

Google’s November 2021 Core Algorithm Update created some volatile search engine result pages (SERPs). The instability was more prevalent on mobile than on desktop, as would be expected. While for some the disruption from the November update settled down fairly quickly, for others the volatility left a mark. Sites that had shown up beyond the first 20 were now showing up in the top 10; top 10 results were now ranked much lower.

Who was affected by the November Core Update?

It’s interesting the difference in the volatility of the search rankings between desktop and mobile. For instance, industries that showed a marked volatility (30% or more compared to the July update) on desktop included Pets & Animals, Health, Real Estate, Autos & Vehicles and Travel. On mobile, these categories and more were affected at this level including Science and People & Society.

What was the impact of the update?

Drastically changed rankings impacted some of SERPs, while for others this was a fairly mild update. In fact, some marketers felt it might have been more infrastructure-related, which would explain the mild impact.

Those ranked 1 – 5 didn’t seem to be as affected as those in the 5 – 10 spots. So, if your web page held a spot in the first five results, you probably didn’t see a change in the placement. But if you were between positions 5 and 10 you may have seen your page dragged back into the 20+ range.

On the opposite side, you may have seen a page that was showing up in the 20+ area suddenly appear in a terrific 5 – 10 position.

Preparing for future Google algorithm updates

The core algorithm updates are about improving the search results, not penalizing websites.

What can you do if you have been negatively impacted? Content. The right kind of content. Quality content.

What does Google consider to be quality content? Original, interesting, comprehensive, professional content. Titles that describe the content and aren’t shocking, sensationalized or misleading. In other words, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness or EAT.

Why should you care?

EAT is everything to Google’s search algorithms. If your website is a source of customers, you need to be on top of what Google is looking for when it comes to EAT. When your content is created with EAT in mind, core algorithm updates like the one this month are less likely to impact your business.

Too busy to stay on top of all the Google changes? The professionals at Ontario SEO eat, sleep and breath this stuff. Feel free to get in touch.